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Downtown Norfolk Summer - Family Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Adventures in Downtown Norfolk

Downtown Norfolk is a great place to have some fun in the sun! With the beautiful, accessible waterfront as a backdrop, check out all these great outdoor activities.

  • Cruises & Boat Rides
    • Take advantage of Norfolk's waterfront on a cruise aboard either the American Rover or Victory Rover. You'll tour one of the world's busiest sea ports, including the world's largest naval base, all on the smooth waters of the Elizabeth River.
    • Everybody loves a ride on a ferry, and the Elizabeth River Ferry conveniently connects Downtown Norfolk to Olde Towne Portsmouth. Check out everything going on in Olde Towne Portsmouth here.
    • Set sail along the Elizabeth River with an introductory First Sail captained by a seasoned instructor from Sail Nauticus. Discover the wonders of sailing and enjoy the beautiful view of Downtown Norfolk from the water.
  • Bike Trails and Rentals
    • The Elizabeth River Trail stretches 10.5 miles, and part of that runs right through Downtown Norfolk along the gorgeous waterfront, through Town Point Park, and stops by the picturesque Pagoda Gardens, the perfect place to relax, picnic, and play in free, open space.  With easy-to-follow trail signage, the trail is a beautiful way to enjoy a summery day and get a little exercise while you're at it!
  • Light Rail 
  • Murals & Public Art
    • Downtown Norfolk is home to Norfolk's NEON District, which is overflowing with creative murals and public art pieces. We're pretty proud of the NEON District and encourage you to go explore. Check the NEON's Facebook page to see if there are any guided mural tours coming up, or go on a self-guided mural tour using the NEON's website to guide you -- just be sure to check it out!
    • Seen the NEON District and craving more? Here's all of Downtown Norfolk's Public Art and where to find it.
  • Maritime Museum & Battleship Wisconsin
    • Nauticus, Norfolk's maritime-themed science & technology center inspires and educates visitors about the naval, economic, and nautical power of the sea. You can also check out the Battleship Wisconsin while you're here, and explore one of the largest and latest battleships built by the U.S. Navy.
  • Historic Museums
    • Learn all about a great American hero at the MacArthur Memorial, a museum & research center dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the life of Douglas MacArthur. Admission is free!
  • Norfolk Tours
    • Learn all about Downtown Norfolk's history and present on a guided tour.  Norfolk Tour Company offers insightful walking tours of various parts of Downtown Norfolk.